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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

Changes to WDW Disability Access Services

Disney announced today changes in who is eligible for Disability Access Service (DAS) and the application process. The websites of both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have been updated to reflect these changes.

One of the biggest changes is how Disney is defining who will be qualified to use DAS.  Previously Disney’s criteria for who qualified for DAS was, “Guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability.”  Their new wording states, “DAS is intended to accommodate a small percentage of Guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar, are unable to wait in a conventional queue for an extended period of time.”  This new wording seems to narrow down the scope of who will be eligible for a DAS pass.

The other big change is to the DAS registration process, beginning May 20th for Walt Disney World visits and June 18th for Disneyland. Previously guests were able to register either online through a video chat up to 30 days ahead of time, or in person.

With the changes, Walt Disney World and Disneyland will require pre-registration via video chat, similar to the current process. However, Disney Cast Members will now be joined by employees from Inspire Health Alliance, who will help them to determine the validity of a guest’s request for a DAS pass, and what accommodations are appropriate. This is to ensure that accommodations are provided only to the guests for whom the system is intended for, and not abused.

Guests that do not meet Disney’s new criteria will still have access to other accessibility services that are available. Cast Members will help match those services with guests in need of the accommodations.

For Walt Disney World video chat will be the only option for registration. Guest Relations at the park will no longer be able to register someone for a DAS, though you will have the option to go through the video chat process while at the parks on an iPad.

 In Disneyland, where the changes will go into effect on June 17th, they will have an opportunity at the parks to speak with someone in person about a DAS request.  The location will move from Guest Relations at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure to an area in the Esplanade between the parks. 

Walt Disney World’s website also now states, "If it is determined that any of the statements a Guest made in the process of obtaining DAS are not true, the Guest will be permanently barred from entering Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, and any previously purchased Annual Passes, Magic Key passes, tickets and other park products and services will be forfeited and not refunded."

Additional  Changes to the DAS System

  • Enrollment eligibility will increase from 60 days to 120 days.  

  • The Parks will be adding more options for guests who previously qualified for DAS but will no longer be accommodated though the new system. For example,  Disney will have a “return to queue” process for those guests who need to exit a line and then reenter.

  • Cast Members will receive specialized training to assist guests based on their unique needs. 

  • DAS Advance selections will not be the default offering for every DAS recipient. 

  • The DAS party size is limited to 4 guests with exceptions for immediate family members.

What isn’t changing?

  • The DAS process of selecting attractions and return times using My Disney Experience App will remain the same.

It should be noted that guests who have previously been approved for DAS who will be visiting the parks after the changes take place (May 20, 2024 for Walt Disney World and June 18, 2024 for Disneyland) will need to reapply.

To read more about DAS, disability travel, and planning a Walt Disney World vacation with someone who is neurodivergent, Click here.


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